Setting Success

Paige Beck

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During the Jesup game on Oct. 29, Brand jump serves the ball. Photo by Shannon Beck.

“If you have been out for volleyball as long as I have, you have to enjoy it,” said senior Summer Brand. Brand is the setter of the varsity volleyball team and has been involved with volleyball since the third grade. Her mother Robin Brand is the junior varsity volleyball coach, and she was the one who encouraged her to go out for the sport. That’s what started Brand’s love for volleyball.

Mount Vernon started off the season by playing West Delaware and Brand said that it was not a pretty game; West Delaware won all three sets. Brand said that after the West Delaware game, her team worked on focusing in on the game and being consistent with everything. During practice, Brand works with her hitters so they can connect with the sets she gives them. She also works on her serves, so she can be consistent during her games. Brand is always practicing to be the best she can be. On average Brand has 9.8 assists per game, this means that on average 9.8 kills are made from one of Brand’s sets every game. 

All that practice has paid off because Brand helped lead the team to win conference. Brand is proud of this accomplishment because it was a big win for her team. “We started off the year not so great, but it has been exciting to be able to come back and win conference,” she said. The conference tournament was at Marion high school on Oct 17. Mount Vernon won against Dyersville Beckman. They then moved on to the semi-finals to play Clear Creek Amana winning that match as well. The championship game was against Marion which is where Mount Vernon won their conference title. This was the first Wamac Conference Tournament title since 2010. After conference, Brand and the rest of the volleyball team prepared for the rounds of regionals. 

The volleyball team won the second round of regionals on Tuesday, Oct 29. It was a home game against Jesup, and Mount Vernon fought for their win. Jesup won the first two sets, but Mount Vernon did not give up. “I was getting really nervous on the third set, but then the team came together,” said Brand. Mount Vernon won the last three sets and they will move on to the third round of regionals. After the game, Brand said that she was excited to be moving on to the next round. Mount Vernon won their third round of regionals on Nov 4 against New Hampton, and they will be moving on to Quarterfinals. Mount Vernon will play West Liberty on Nov 13 at the U.S. Cellular Center at noon on court one. 

Brand sets the ball during the Jesup game on Oct. 29. Picture by Paige Beck

Brand has been able to watch the high school volleyball team all of her life because Mount Vernon is such a small town. Those are the girls who she has looked up to and has aspired to be. The Mount Vernon volleyball team has had some great seasons throughout Brand’s lifetime. Brand said, “I want to be able to carry on the tradition of having a great season.” 

Brand’s favorite thing about volleyball is the team atmosphere. “The people that are in volleyball are a huge reason why I like it so much,” she said. Brand loves making new friends and she likes hanging out with people who are outside of her normal friend group. She probably wouldn’t get to hang out with some of her closest friends if it wasn’t because of volleyball. “We do a lot of team bonding activities and fun games to get to know everyone better,” Brand said. One of her team bonding experiences is an overnight retreat she does at the beginning of every season. She said that it is a very fun experience because she gets to hang out with the team in a different kind of atmosphere. 

Another thing Brand likes about volleyball is the competitive aspect of it. She considers herself a competitive person when it comes to volleyball. Brand likes winning during competitions and being a leader for her team. She says uplifting things to her teammates during competitions to help the team stay positive if things aren’t going their way. 

Volleyball has impacted Brand in a lot of positive ways, she said that she has learned how to be a good teammate to others and that volleyball has pushed her to be the best that she can be.

At the home Jesup game on Oct. 29, Brand sets the ball. Picture by Shannon Beck.

Brand has also learned how to have a good work ethic because she knows she has to put in the time and work to be a good player. 

In the fall of 2020 Brand will be attending Cornell College to continue playing volleyball. Brand said, “I’m really excited to play at Cornell because I get to play with my old teammates Rory Light (2019) and Sydney Meeker (2017).” Brand is also excited to be close to Mount Vernon because she will be able to watch the volleyball program even after she has graduated. “My advice for other volleyball players is to just have fun because it doesn’t last forever,” Brand said.